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Metallica - Metallica & Lou Reed: Lulu CD (album) cover




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2.08 | 219 ratings

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1 stars This album will beat all the scores on any metal portal. This collaboration record between the old and tired experimental rock singer Lou Reed and the aged thrash metal legend Metallica will probably get the lowest average rating ever by the fans. My rating score will probably be amongst the most favourable reviews because I try to analyze this output from an objective and not an emotional point of view. I may accord a score of twenty-five to this album but emotionally, this is not even worth half of this score indeed. Let's take a look on what happened.

Lou Reed and Metallica decided to work together after having played together live at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 25th anniversary show. Lou Reed had been working on a conception album featuring passages inspired by the controversial German playwright Frank Wedekind. Lulu tells the story of a desperate and disillusioned woman that is only a shadow of her past and lives a fatal emotionless circle of sex, abuse and despair. The emotionless spoken word vocals by Lou Reed, the minimalist instruments, the experimental style of this album and the cold and simple album cover underline the concept. Let's note that this album doesn't feature much of James Hetfield's vocals and only a few lost thrash riffs. This album is eighty percent Lou Reed and maybe twenty percent Metallica and this estimation is eventually even quite optimistic.

So far, so good but the music itself is even harder to digest as the story itself. The two artists created a lot of overlong tracks with a lack of variation, emotion and diversity. This is no accident but an effect they really wanted to create to bring the story to life and give an authentic and unique twist to this experimental collaboration. The final result included though too many emotionless overlong passages that may even bore the most open-minded and intellectual music fan in the world to death. After two or three minutes, everything is said but the songs are stretched at least three times too much with a peak of almost twenty minutes of dumb and hypnotizing boredom in the final "Junior Dad". Metallica sad that the section of classic music in the second half of the track made them cry and really touched them but I never heard such a boring and closed minded piece of classic music. There are a few additional musicians that play viola, cello, violin and electronic instruments but everything sounds as one big indefinable potpourri. Don't even think about symphonic metal bands such as Therion, Apocalyptica or even Savatage if you read about those guest musicians who know how to mix metal music with classic passages. Even Metallica's controversial "S&M" experiment which I actually liked was way more convincing than this failure.

Almost all songs are overlong, boring and dumb but I really must point out the track "Little Dog". This is by far the worst metal song I have ever listened to in my life. Well, I would not even call this music. It has a more than minimalist and exchangeable instrumental work while Lou Reed uses a completely emotionless and blurry murmured voice to put some almost random spoken word passages over the music for eight long minutes. He has no charisma, no variation and no energy. This can't even be defended by the fact that the band wanted to bring a desperate and emotionless character to life. Music, vocals and lyrics just don't fit together. If you are at this kind of emotional degree, you are already more than suicidal. Even a dog would moan and run away by listening to this incredible piece of garbage and try to commit suicide by biting his own tail off until there is no blood left to be shed. This song is an open insult to psychedelic rock, Krautrock and any progressive Stoner metal as any amateur band of any of these kinds is better and more authentic than what Lou Reed and Metallica deliver with this anti-effort. This sounds like Johnny Cash on a heavy dose of cannabis just before his death. I declare this the worst metal song ever.

Compared to this disasterpiece even the really bad tracks on this overlong double-album merit a few low percentage ratings and vary between horrible and pretty bad. The longer the tracks are, the worse they get. Many critics laughed about the weird "The View" with its strange and ridiculous lyrics but this track turns out to be the most dynamicle and diversified track on the album which is only beaten by the solid opener "Brandenburg Gate" which is simply too short to get redundant even if the chorus is already repeated way too much. I want to underline that we talk about acceptable to mediocre songs and not about good efforts but next to the eight disasterpieces that follow these songs sound like a relief. Anybody that bashed "The View" will be stunned by the high degree of failure of the rest of the record if he or she is tough enough to make it entirely through this record. Sometimes, you can skip five minutes within the song and everything still sounds the same. Let me give you an advice: Don't waste your time and money on that. Don't buy this because you have all the other Metallica records. Don't expect this to grow on you. It will probably even get worse the more youi listen to this. If you didn't like "The View", you'll hate the rest even more. If you liked "The View", chances are elevated you may nevertheless hate the rest. This is the kind of record one person among ten thousand will like but I'm not into this at all.

In the end, the acceptable two first tracks, the story and the at least interesting concept itself and the acceptable sound of the record add a few points to a very bad final rating. I always defended Metallica and I liked all of their experimental works in the past. I'm one of those who adored "Load" and especially "ReLoad" quite a lot and who was able to accept the "St. Anger" record which really grew on me over the years and happens to be among my favourite Metallica albums. "Lulu" just won't grow. There is no diversity. There is no energy. There is no authenticity. Even harsh critics must admit that the controversial "St. Anger" is a masterpiece compared to this, anybody else is really out of his mind. The release date of this garbage is a hard day for the heavy metal universe. But let's see this from a positive point of view. No matter what Metallica will record in the beginning of the next year, the band's upcoming solo record can definitely only be an improvement. But they surely lost a lot of fans with "Lulu" who won't give them any new chance and I can really understand this. What did Metallica think by doing this? I really think they do whatever they want and don't give a damn about anything else. That's artistically interesting but commercially suicidal. There is no excuse this time.

Originally published on on November 1st of the year 2011.

kluseba | 1/5 |


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